Remaining time: 

Important information

Age restriction


Child policy
Children under 5 will not be admitted.
Running time
3hr (including interval)
Performance dates
1 March 2018 - 15 March 2018
Special notice
Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage. No food or drink purchased off-site including alcohol, soft drinks and water are permitted inside the theatre.

A Midsummer Night's Dream Customer Reviews

2 / 5 (3 customer reviews)

Steven Trimmer

11 March 18

We left at the 1st interval as found the singing and acting quite monotonous

Ron Waller

9 March 18

Knowing little about Britten’s operatic corpus (only “Peter Grimes” and “War Requiem”) and knowing the play very well, we wondered how they would blend. As always, the Coliseum experience was thoroughly enjoyable, welcoming staff, convenient venue and reasonable prices in central London. Despite a few stage management hitches in the final act, the staging was interesting, rooted in the idea of sleep, all of which worked well. The stark green stage for the forest was minimalistic but effective and, when it was lifted to reveal the pure white of day and reality it was a great stage effect. The large chorus was also very effective and disciplined. When Britten wrote the opera (very quickly, cutting the Shakespeare to fit), he had a counter-tenor in mind; perhaps it was the overly loud orchestration or the quietness of some of the range, but Oberon was not always clear. However, it is a challenging part. I can understand the need for an ethereal, others wordly voice to reinforce the forest people but, for me, it was not effective. Between the scenes in the first acts, the gaps were too long, slowing the momentum; had there been more memorable music, it would have helped. For anyone who does not know the play, the script’s complexities can easily unravel and the pace did not help. Around me, ten people did not stay after the interval. Shakespeare’s mechanicals did not fail and Britten’s music complimented them well. Even here, however, I would be hard pressed to recall a memorable tune - a feature of most great operas. Leaving humming a tune or waiting expectantly for a specific tune or aria is part of opera going which Britten seems to miss. Interestingly, Britten left Puck’s final, evocative and powerful scene to Shakespeare without even trying to set it to music, although the stage effect was dramatic. “If we shadows have offended ...”. Although the final act had a greater drive and purpose to it, unfortunately, I did not find Britten’s MND to my taste. The actors worked hard, the orchestra played with great enthusiasm, the Coliseum was, as always, the enjoyable Coliseum but - for me - Britten did not rise to Shakespeare’s heights. “While these visions did appear. / ... this weak and idle theme, / No more yielding but a dream ...”. I wanted to like it more.